Real estate in an RRSP

Question: We would like to purchase some property as an investment, but most of our money is inside our RRSP. Is there any way to include real estate inside an RRSP? Is there still such a thing as a self-directed mortgage, and if so could this be part of an RRSP? – D.F.


Real estate cannot be held directly in an RRSP, although securities that invest in real estate are allowed, such as REITS. It is technically possible to hold a mortgage within an RRSP, however most financial institutions don’t allow it because of the complex paperwork involved.

According to Valden Palm, who’s website at deals specifically with RRSP mortgages, you might be confronted with a “deer in the headlights stare as they won’t know what the heck you’re talking about”.  Instead, he suggests one of the following three trust companies, all of which handle self-directed RRSPs that can invest in arm’s-length mortgages:

Canadian Western Trust (arm of Canadian Western Bank -Head office: Vancouver)
B2B Trust (arm of Laurentian Bank -Head Office: Toronto)
Olpia Trust Company (Head office: Calgary)

Hope this helps. – G.P. (July 2003)

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